Come with Us

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Come with Us
Studio album by The Chemical Brothers
Released 28 January 2002 (2002-01-28) (UK)
Recorded 2000–01
Genre Big beat, electronica, trip hop, house, ambient, progressive
Length 54:49
Label Virgin (UK)
Freestyle Dust (UK)
Astralwerks/Ultra Records (U.S.)
Producer The Chemical Brothers
The Chemical Brothers chronology
Come with Us
Singles 93–03

Come with Us is the fourth studio album by British big beat duo The Chemical Brothers, released on 28 January 2002. It features Richard Ashcroft and Beth Orton as guest vocalists. The album debuted at number 1 on the UK Albums Chart.[citation needed] It was certified Gold by the BPI on 1 February 2002.[citation needed]


The band's second and third albums Dig Your Own Hole and Surrender brought the band international fame. The band had a worldwide tour for Surrender beginning in 1999, continuing until summer 2000 when they played festivals including legendary performances at Glastonbury Festival and Creamfields.

Following the festivals, the band created a new track, premiered in December 2000 when the band supported U2. Tom Rowlands seemed to initially have mixed feelings about the track, saying it had "quite a lot of percussion, big, sweeping sort of stuff. Live conga playing, quite spaced out. It's like Body & Soul, but really, really hard and twisted, it's like high-impact, full-on, but with more organic sounds, and quite intense, without the good vibe.",[1] though the track was popular with fans, and eventually was released as a white label release, "Electronic Battle Weapon 5", in June 2001. In the releases' dawn, the duo had begun recording a new album, and the track had proved basis for the band's recording of the album.


Work for the album began in 2000, when it was initially titled Chemical Four. The album explores new gear such as the Parker MIDI Fly guitar. When asked about if the album is a "back-to-roots" album following their change in style for Surrender three years previous, Ed Simons said "The first three or four numbers do remind me of those days when we were so excited about putting together little grooves and beats — that whole cut-up era of hip-hop. We had Grand Wizard Theodore DJing at our gigs then. Like that scratch segment in “Afrika,” [sic] those tiny segments where it sounds like a DJ cutting in, those sorts of things used to really excite us. But some of the music is totally removed from that. “Hoops” is totally different than anything we — or anyone — have ever done".[2] The album took 18 months to record.[3]

In making the album, the string arpeggios and the hard MIDI notes, came first. "Then it was about finding the right sounds and building from that point". The band worked from 12:00pm to 12:00am each day making the album.[2]

The album's drum programming started with doing the snare sound, then a kick sound, and a bit of "high-end ssshhhhhh".[2] The duo said they "took the actual individual drum sounds, then wrote the chords. We always sample tiny fragments of sound as a starting point. But there were more definite tunes and ideas and melodies from the start of this album than before". The duo also experimented with Emagic Logic Audio on this album, which proved successful in the album's production as it never crashed, unlike Steinberg Cubase, which the band had used previously.


In the month of release the band had been given retrospective respect from magazines like Muzik Magazine.[4] Promotion for the album started in September 2001, and somewhat concluded in November 2002.

The album was released on 28 January 2002 in the UK, following the release of the single "It Began in Afrika", a variation of the band's "Electronic Battle Weapon 5", which was released in September 2001 and appeares on the album, as well as the release of the single "Star Guitar". Both tracks were successful in the charts, reaching #8 in the UK Singles Chart each. The album itself entered at number one, being their third consecutive number one album. As well as the two singles released before the album, "Galaxy Bounce" appeares on the album, made famous on the Tomb Raider soundtrack in Summer 2001.


"It Began in Afrika" was released in June 2001 as "Electronic Battle Weapon 5" exclusively for DJs to test in clubs. It was re-released officially as the first single on 10 September 2001 and reached number 8 in the UK Singles Chart.[5] The version on the album is a 6 minute version that segues into the popular "Galaxy Bounce". "Star Guitar" was released on 14 January 2002 and reached number 8 in the UK Singles Chart.[6] "Come with Us" and "The Test" were released as a double A-Side on 22 April 2002. It reached number 14 in the UK Singles Chart.[7] In Japan, the names in the title of the single were reversed.[8] "Hoops" was released on 1 June 2002 in remixed form as "Electronic Battle Weapon 6", exclusively for DJs to test in clubs. At the time of their touring in Japan, the tie-in extended play entitled Come with Us/Japan Only EP was released exclusively to Japan on 17 July 2002. Its lead song is "Come with Us". The AmericanEP was released exclusively to America on 19 November 2002 in promotion of the North Amerika tour. Its lead song is a varaition of "Star Guitar". "Come with Us" and "The Test" were also issued as separate promo singles in addition to the retail double A-side. In Japan, "Come with Us/The Test" was issued as "The Test/Come with Us".[9]


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 72/100 [10]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars [11]
Alternative Press (7/10)[12]
Chicago Tribune (average) [13]
Entertainment Weekly B [14]
Los Angeles Times 3.5/4 stars [15]
Mixmag 5/5 stars[16]
Pitchfork Media 6.2/10 [17]
PopMatters 8/10[18]
Q 3/5 stars [19]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars [20]
Slant Magazine 4/5 stars[21]
Spin 9/10[22]

Initial critical response to Come with Us was generally positive. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has received an average score of 72, based on 23 reviews.[10]

Andy Puleston of the BBC said that "years ago Tom and Ed assured us 'the brother's gonna work it out'. If you've ever felt that they had yet to make good on this promise then, as far as Come With Us is concerned there was never a truer word spoken.".[23] His review also acknowledged the success of "It Began in Afrika", saying that by "removing shrubs, laying concrete and generally paving the way for this album, "Afrika" conquered Ibiza, Notting Hill Carnival and contrived a craving amongst those with an affinity for a big, bouncy kick drum."

Allmusic said "After forgetting the key on 1999's Surrender amidst handling all of the celebrity guests, they got back to business with Come With Us.", and that "from the vocal sample introducing the opener ("behold...they're coming back"), it's clear Rowlands and Simons know the importance of this fourth album, and it detonates like a bomb blast, as though the duo knew that Come With Us had to be bigger and badder than all the bombastic breaks they'd dropped in the past."[11]

Following the album's release, the band embarked on two tours in promotion of the album, the Go with Them tour and the North Amerika tour.[24]

Track listing[edit]

Come with Us
No. Title Length
1. "Come With Us"   4:58
2. "It Began in Afrika"   6:16
3. "Galaxy Bounce"   3:28
4. "Star Guitar"   6:27
5. "Hoops"   6:32
6. "My Elastic Eye"   3:42
7. "The State We're In" (featuring Beth Orton) 6:27
8. "Denmark"   5:07
9. "Pioneer Skies"   4:05
10. "The Test" (featuring Richard Ashcroft) 7:46
Total length:


  • "It Began in Afrika" (2001) – No. 8 UK
  • "Star Guitar" (2002) – No. 8 UK
  • "Come with Us"/"The Test" (2002) – No. 14 UK

Release history[edit]

Region Release date Label Format Catalogue
Japan 21 January 2002 Virgin Japan CD VJCP-68367
UK 28 January 2002 Freestyle Dust CD XDUSTCD5
USA 29 January 2002 Astralwerks CD ASW11682-2
CD ASW11895-2
LP2×LP ASW11682-1
Japan 29 March 2002 Virgin Japan CD VJCP-68408

Chart positions[edit]

Year Chart Position
2002 Australian ARIA Albums Chart 1
Preceded by
Just Enough Education to Perform
by Stereophonics
UK number one album
9 February 2002 – 15 February 2002
Succeeded by
Escape by Enrique Iglesias
Preceded by
The Final Dig? by The Twelfth Man
Australian ARIA Albums Chart number-one album
4 February 2002 – 10 February 2002
Succeeded by
Barricades & Brickwalls by Kasey Chambers


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  10. ^ a b "Come With Us Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic. CNET Networks, Inc. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  11. ^ a b John Bush. "Come with Us - The Chemical Brothers". Allmusic. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  12. ^ Alternative Press (2/02, p.67) - 7 out of 10 - "...A return to the early-'90s acid-house exuberance that first inspired them..."
  13. ^ Kot, Greg (3 March 2002). "Chemical Brothers Come With Us (Astralwerks)". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  14. ^ Hermes, Will (28 January 2002). "Come With Us Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  15. ^ Baltin, Steve (27 January 2002). "Tunes to Back Up the Beats (The Chemical Brothers: 'Come With Us')". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  16. ^ Mixmag (2/02, p.58) - 5 out of 5 - "...There are enough ear-tickling noises for us to realise they havn't lost their Midas....these tunes will sound amazing played out. Which is precisely what clubland needs now."
  17. ^ Nathan Rooney (30 January 2002). "The Chemical Brothers: Come with Us". Pitchfork. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  18. ^ Bowden, Marshall (29 March 2002). "The Chemical Brothers: Come With Us". PopMatters. Archived from the original on 13 June 2002. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  19. ^ Q (Jan/02, p.97) - 3 out of 5 stars - "...blend[s] the brutal efficiency of current dancefloor trends with...the music that prompted [them] to make records....good, clean, hedonistic fun..."
  20. ^ Rolling Stone review at the Wayback Machine (archived October 2, 2007)
  21. ^ Slant Magazine review
  22. ^ They've gone one step beyond the underrated Surrender by integrating their two sides: high-octane thrust and airy psychedelic dreaminess. [Feb 2002, p.105]
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